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why do victims of domestic violence not report it

ore than by their partners or exes. Even more saddening is that this figure is an underestimation of the true scale of the domestic violence problem. Almost, that is two women a week, die at the hands of someone that is, or was, an intimate partner. These statistics, horrific as there are, have an ability to simply wash over us and become part of the drip drip of things to feel awful about but powerless to change. The numbers never manage to fully convey the reality of a life terrorised by a person who insists a slap, punch or kick is a sign of love. This week the organisation published research on, 50% of whom are unknown to public bodies. They are the faceless many: 130,000 to be exact. These children appear overly aggressive, at times agitated, and prone to jumping at the sound of bodies aggressively moving against each other, doors being slammed and objects smashed. Or they are distant in social contexts, unwilling and unable to bring friends back home, and particularly attuned to the ways in which voices can carry gut-wrenching fear of imminent physical pain. The figures attest a type of violence that is endemic within modern society. Yet the data shows that the very public institutions that should be protecting vulnerable women and children are continuing to fail them, viewing the threat as too pernicious a problem to tackle systematically. Of the police forces asked to share their data on domestic violence with the Guardian, Cambridgeshire, Durham, Humberside and Lancashire were unable to provide figures for the numbers of women under high risk of death and injury. In London, where 10 calls an hour are the result of domestic violence incidences, only 87 at-risk women were identified.


The absence of accurate figures speaks volumes about a society that continues to disbelieve women who, more than anyone else, know what their abusers are capable of. The same society that isn't up in arms over
and a culture that, rather than holding perpetrators of abuse accountable, seeks instead to blame victims for their abuse, endlessly asking "why doesn't she leave? ", as if staying, not the violence, is the real problem. If only leaving were that simple. It isn't. A third of women will continue to experience violence even once they have ended the relationship. Many still will find that any help in civil cases related to divorce and contact rights are now gone, thereby increasing the difficulty of leaving an abusive partner. As a result of, survivors of domestic violence will be able to receive it only when they have logged abuse either with their GP or the police. The onus of support for the survivor is placed squarely on her shoulders. If she is unable to gain it, the abuse becomes, yet again, her fault. Society begins to sound rather like her abuser. Home, with its expansive suggestions of love and safety, is not where you expect to find violence and intimidation. We should choose to remember this before blaming victims. Home shouldn't be a place of pervasive and constant dread; a place where rape is a reality, in a room directly adjacent to that of children rather than in a dark alleyway. It shouldn't be a place where a parent uses a child as a tool in the abuse of a partner, labelling, often, mothers as bad, stupid or simply unworthy of a life free from such violence.


Shame and guilt are supplementary tools in physical violence prone to emerge at the drop of a hat. Such violent acts are, invariably, followed by an insistence that these actions are tolerable and therefore normal. It is a double psychic wounding that leaves children feeling rootless and afraid. Some become so consumed by rage that it is all ooutsiders expect from them, while others still will be unable to trust and form meaningful relationships with friends and potential partners. rarely reflected upon if ever talked about with others. We can begin to help by understanding young people who act up and women that stay. Shame is such a powerful emotion в it is a pity it should be displaced from those responsible for such agony, to the victims and survivors. NEW YORK Б A new report issued today reveals that survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault face widespread and serious police discrimination when they seek protection from the criminal justice system. Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing is based on a nationwide survey of 900 advocates, attorneys, service providers, and non-profit workers who support or represent domestic violence and sexual assault victims. As a topline finding, 88 percent of respondents reported that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence. Advocates identified police inaction, hostility, and bias against survivors as key barriers to seeking intervention from the criminal justice system. БUnless police officers are held accountable for blaming victims and refusing to investigate domestic violence and sexual assault the same as they do other crimes, our criminal justice system will continue to fail survivors,Б said Sandra Park, senior staff attorney at the ACLU WomenБs Rights Project who co-wrote the report. б БFederal, state, and local governments should expand efforts to provide oversight over how police respond to these cases.


Бб Many concerns about police hostility and inaction are magnified within communities that are already burdened with problematic policing practices. Over 80 percent of respondents believed that police relations with marginalized communities influenced survivorsБ willingness to call the police. БThe report confirms what survivors and service providers know all too well, that police response to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault continues to be riddled with bias based on gender, race, immigration status, gender identity, and poverty, and against others from marginalized groups,Б said Julie Goldscheid, Academic Dean and Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law and report co-author. БIt underscores the need for ongoing, multifaceted training that focuses on respecting the survivor and on ensuring that police understand the ways that multiple forms of bias intersect. Б Concerns within marginalized groups include fear of the collateral consequences that police involvement can trigger. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents said that contact with the police sometimes or often resulted in involvement of child protective services, threatening survivors with loss of custody of their children. Other negative consequences named by respondents include initiation of immigration proceedings and loss of housing, employment or welfare benefits. б Advocates noted that resources outside of the criminal justice system must be available to survivors looking for options other than punishment for the abuser.


БThe report demonstrates that if the government wants to assist victims, there must be changes in policies that impact immigration, child welfare, economic security, and criminal justice more broadly,Б said Donna Coker, Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and report co-author. б БThe police are not a viable resource for victims because involving the police often results in deportation, the loss of children, arrest of the victim, and devastating economic consequences. Б In addition to naming problematic policing practices, advocates identified police collaborations that are working in their communities and recommended improvements in police training, supervision, and hiring of more women and people of color, changes in police culture that include prioritizing domestic violence and sexual assault cases, and greater partnerships between police and community resources. Strengthening police accountability using federal, state, and local mechanisms; Addressing collateral consequences of seeking police involvement, particularly immigration, child welfare, and economic consequences; and Engaging in additional research on the intersectional biases that survivors experience, the impact that criminal justice strategies have on the prevalence of violence, acts of sexual and domestic violence committed by police, and alternatives to criminal justice responses to sexual and domestic violence.

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